Friday, April 29, 2011

Recipe Review: Cowboy Casserole

I get the Daily Dish emails from I don't always save these emails and rarely do I really get to try them out. However, when I saw the recipe for Cowboy Casserole a couple of days ago, I immediately wanted to try it. The author of the recipe uses it while camping. It involves just one pot (gotta love that!). Basically, you cook up some bacon and cut it up; set it aside; drain the grease; cook onions and ground beef; drain; add baked beans, BBQ sauce, and the onions; and cook until boiling. Finally, turn down the heat, put refrigerated biscuit dough on top, cover with a lid, and cook until the biscuits are done. For the full recipe, go to the link above.

The recipe said to use a dutch oven or a skillet. My deep skillet (nonstick) was in the dishwasher, so I had to use my dutch oven. The bacon kinda stuck and left behind particles, but the hamburger and onions absorbed the particles, leaving a smooth surface. I didn't have enough BBQ sauce, unfortunately, but put in what I had. The recipe said that the biscuits would take 10 minutes to cook. They took a LOT longer than that, probably more like 20 minutes. Unfortunately, the meat mixture started burning on the bottom as the biscuits were finishing up. I had to take the pot off the burner, and now I am going to have to use some serious elbow grease to clean that pot.

Overall, it was a good dish, but could have been a lot better had I better executed the dish. Next time, I will use my nonstick deep skillet and I will probably cook the biscuits in the oven. I like the idea of cooking them with the casserole in one dish, but it didn't brown so it wasn't as visually appealing. My husband Robert liked it -- he ate two big helpings of it. He did say that it's not something that he would want all the time, though. I liked it, too, but I feel like it could some kind of spice to give it some more flavor -- maybe chili powder.
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mac Attack!

Since I last blogged -- and, yes, I remember quite well that I said I would write again in a few days -- our laptop attempted to give up the ghost and is now in an induced coma. Translation: Blue Screen of Death and dismantled hard drive.

My husband decided that we would get an Apple computer to replace it (though I'm still hoping we can get the laptop fixed so that I can some of my favorite PC software). After 4 or 5 trips to the Apple Store, as well as several trips to Best Buy, we finally settled on the iMac. I love the big screen! It's been some 20 years since I last used a Mac, so it's taking some getting used to. In the future, I hope to share with you some things I've learned and will be learning. To help, I checked out some books from the library (which I've only had time to briefly browse through) and I will be having a One-to-One session at the Apple store on Friday. In the meantime, I've started a list of questions to ask.

I haven't yet synced my iPad or my iPhone using this computer's iTunes because I'm afraid of losing data -- namely, pictures and videos of my daughter.

Speaking of which, I did use a really, really neat app called Photo Transfer to transfer some photos and videos from my iPhone to this computer over our wireless internet. It took some time to transfer the videos, but at least I have them on the computer. I forgot to mention that barely a week before the laptop died, I backed up the hard drive. I was able to do a partial backup of the files since the total backup when the computer was giving its last breaths.

On the home front, the inside of our house is painted and it looks great! I can't wait to show you pictures (soon!). Robert has decided to paint the outside of the house. He has started on it and the man who painted the inside will finish the job. It's looking really good!

I've been able to do some decluttering and boxing up of things in the house, so it's starting to look much better; in fact, the house has never looked better! We still have some areas to tackle (like my dining room table which is housing things to go on the wall and other things to keep out of reach of my 14-month-old), but it's coming along quite well! I will be posting the progress soon. I still have yet to pop my SD card from my camera into the Mac. I'm looking forward to trying out the iPhoto program. So much to do, and so little time!

Ava Kinsey
AKA The 21st Century Keeper at Home
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